Covid 19 – Ribble Remains Fully Operational

During this unprecedented time in UK history, we want to reassure all our customers that Ribble remains fully operational and ready to meet your corrugated requirements. 

We are constantly keeping up to date with government advice and guidelines, and we have implemented all the necessary precautions to ensure that our employees remain in a safe and clean work environment. Wherever possible, our employees are now working from home, but as all corrugated manufacturers rely on factory based employees, we have ensured their health and safety is our number one priority. We will continue to follow government guidance and implement change as required. 

We are working with all our customers to understand their requirements and taking extra steps to ensure that all orders are supplied as required. 

Our customer service team remains available to answer all of your questions during our normal operating hours (Mon–Fri 8:30am–5pm) and can be contacted by phone or email 0161 622 2302 sales@ribble-pack.co.uk  

We would like to thank all our customers for working with us during this situation and hope all can return to their normal lives as soon as possible. 

6 sites you need to visit for the latest packaging news

Packaging is integral to most people’s lives. This is true for every business that manufactures, transports, stores or sells goods. It also applies to every consumer looking to make a purchase. Without packaging, we couldn’t protect or preserve goods, which would make life pretty difficult. How we do this, however, is constantly changing, especially as consumers become more aware of the impact packaging can have on the environment. 

As a result, it is vital businesses stay on top of industry trends and government legislation. This ensures that the packaging they produce, and use, is fit for purpose and meets consumer demand.  The best way to do this is to keep an eye on packaging news, available through not only news outlets but specialist sites. Here we look at six of the key ones to visit for the latest packaging news;

Packaging News (https://www.packagingnews.co.uk/)

Packaging News is probably the best known and most read of all packaging trade publications on the market today. It’s a great source of information for business owners and directors. It’s also something those working across all business functions including sales, marketing and packaging technology should read. 

The site offers the latest packaging news, broken down by materials and markets as well as details of industry innovations, events, opportunities to network and job postings. In addition to the online site, readers can sign up for daily or weekly packaging news bulletins or subscribe to a monthly magazine. 

Readers should find it easy to navigate, with clear headers that direct them to areas of interest. Under each main heading (News, Materials, Markets, etc.) there are sub-headings, allowing them to drill down to areas of interest. They can bookmark news stories so they can be revisited at a later date. Readers can also share news stories via email and social media. There are also sections for hot topics and trending articles, making it easy to find the main packaging news stories.  

Packaging Today (http://www.packagingtoday.co.uk/)

Another great source of packaging news, Packaging Today, provides industry insights and a detailed look at innovations in packaging or changing working practices. It has over 10,000 visitors a month (and a further 30,000 readers through its print magazine); visitors come from across Europe, not just the UK.  It’s aimed at the industry as a whole, meaning owners, directors and other business functions will all find something useful in it. 

The site offer readers overviews of changes to government legislation through a White Papers section, as well as buyers guides and the chance to purchase used equipment. A monthly magazine (print or online) is available for an annual subscription. Readers can easily navigate across the pages, with plenty of links to take them back to the main news stories. This means it shouldn’t be difficult to keep abreast of the packaging news. Nor should it be difficult to understand what others in the industry are thinking thanks to a comments section. 

Packaging Europe (https://packagingeurope.com/)

For businesses who work not only in the UK but across the European Union, Packaging Europe is a good source of packaging news from the EU. Like Packaging News and Packaging Today, they are intended to reach a wide audience, meaning everyone, no matter what their role, should bookmark the site and visit it regularly.

Packaging Europe looks at innovation and industry news. It provides information on international events and offers networking opportunities. These are especially useful for those looking to build their business abroad. Information is broken down by sector, and a subscription is also available for a monthly print or online magazine.

There are a lot of similarities across all three of the packaging news websites in terms of layout, meaning readers can probably move easily between the three. However, Packaging Europe is probably the ‘cleanest’ of all the sites, with less advertising or banners. Their home page has featured packaging news stories and the latest news stories, which readers can scroll through. There is also a most-read section, letting readers know what others in the industry are particularly interested in.

The Confederation of Paper Industries (https://paper.org.uk/)

The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) is one of the largest trade associations in the UK for the paper industry. They represent all paper-based industries, including packaging manufacturers. As well as representing and promoting the paper industry, they focus on the benefits of paper as a renewable resource. 

The CPI website shares industry news and information on legislative and regulatory changes from across the UK, EU and worldwide. It also has lots of facts and figures about the industry and an interesting ‘myth-busting’ section, which could be useful for sales and marketing teams. Membership is required to access some areas of the site, meaning it won’t be accessible to everyone working in the packaging sector. Because this is a trade association not a news site, there is not as much packaging news available as on other sites. However, the news it does share is relevant to most business functions.

The British Plastics Federation (https://www.bpf.co.uk/)

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has represented the British plastic packaging industry since 1933. It has over 450 members across the supply chain (representing more than 80% of industry turnover). It aims to promote the sector and the views of its members. It also works to share innovation in the industry, including pilot projects and research. Members can attend events, offering the chance to network, and receive regular packaging news updates.

The BPF breaks its packaging news down into two sections; BPF-specific and industry-wide. Again, like the CPI site, the volume of news stories is lower than on the packaging news sites. However, there is plenty of useful information on the site, making it well worth a visit. Another area that may be of interest, especially given consumers increased demand for sustainable packaging, is the issues section. This looks at areas of interest to the industry, linking back to the latest news stories. These include marine waste, where packaging can be recycled, and the impact of Brexit on the packaging industry. 

Readers will find the site easy to work their way around, thanks to a simple drop-down menu. These have sub-headings, allowing visitors to drill down as needed. There is also a member-only area that has additional news and resources.  

Gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/)

The UK government is responsible for packaging regulation. Responsibility is held across a number of different departments. For example, ‘Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations’ fall under the remit of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Meanwhile, the ‘Broadly Equivalent Standards for Packaging and Equivalent Standards for WEEE’ sit with the Environment Agency. 

Searching Gov.uk is fairly simple on the face of it. There is a search bar at the top of the site and entering the word packaging, for example, brings up a broad range of topics. Readers can use these to search further to find what they are looking for. The downsides are that pages often suggest a number of other pages, including guidance, legislation, and government departments. This can make it easy to get ‘lost’ in a sea of information. Visitors also can’t set alerts for changes to pages, meaning they have to revisit the site regularly to look for updates.  

Not all businesses will find a benefit in the gov.uk website. All of the sites we’ve listed above, for example, will share any updates (or potential updates) to government legislation or regulations with their readers. However, this is a good site to visit to make sure nothing has been missed or to take the opportunity to comment on white papers that could affect the industry. Readers should just be wary of spending too long on the site; it may be a good idea only to visit to read about subjects in more detail after they’ve been seen on another packaging news site. 

Staying on top of packaging news

The packaging industry is constantly changing and coming up with new ways of packaging products. Therefore, it is vital that businesses stay on top of packaging news, allowing them to respond to consumer demand and take advantage of innovations that could impact their bottom line. 

The best way to do this is to regularly visit key sites that allow them to keep abreast of packaging news. As we’ve seen, there are a number of great packaging news sites available free of charge and news is also available through a range of trade associations. Packaging news sites cover a wide range of topics and are suitable for people working in all business functions and at all organisational levels. Trade association sites tend to be more targeted in their news. Subscriptions provide access to additional information and resources, but there are also free alerts and newsletters, meaning a financial outlay isn’t necessary. 

Wherever possible, owners, directors and key staff should sign up for alerts, newsletters and monthly magazines.  This way, companies can be certain they don’t miss out on packaging news that could affect their business. 

7 Signs You’re Ready To Talk To A Product Packaging Company

For any e-commerce business, one of the most crucial components for a product’s image and sales is its packaging design. How a product is displayed and presented to customers is vital for its success, and it is vital that your products are packaged in a way that makes them stand out from competitors. A product packaging company can help you to create packaging for your business that is not only eye-catching and encourages sales but is also economical and makes commercial sense. 

Whether you have never used a product packaging company before or have redesigned your packaging many times over the years, there are a few signals to look out for that may mean you’re ready for a packaging overhaul.

You’re Heading In A New Direction

One of the biggest and most obvious signs that you’re ready to talk to a product packaging company about a packaging redesign is if your business is taking a new direction. It is very common for an e-commerce business to start out as one thing, and then naturally shift into something different further down the line. This is just the natural progression of running a business and often means your original packaging no longer fits with your brand.

Packaging that once worked very well for your products could now be completely off pace and disconnected from where you see your business progressing to.

It’s Been More Than Five Years

Things change quickly in the packaging and design world, and if your existing packaging has been around for over five years, then it is probably time for a refresh. The chances are your product and team will have evolved slightly over the years, and it is only right that your packaging reflects these changes. 

A product packaging design company will be able to encompass any new business values into a new packaging design, with the aim to strategically position your products in a way that is relevant to your customers.

Your Packaging Is Costly

Some product packaging can be very expensive and often results in your products being more expensive to customers than perhaps they really need to be. Consumers want to pay for the product and not the box, it comes in, but when you choose custom packaging solutions, it can become pricey. 

Innovations such as on-demand packaging are available from a product packaging company such as Ribble Pack and help e-commerce businesses to manage their packaging spend. Boxes are produced as and when they are required reducing the need for ordering supplies well in advance and guessing how many boxes you will need. 

Your Competitors Have Changed

If you aim to position your products and brands as a leader in your industry, then it is vital that you are keeping an eye on what your competitors are up to. If your competitors have changed their strategy, or new competitors have emerged over the years, then a packaging redesign could be required to keep you ahead of the game. 

There Are Issues For Retailers

It is becoming increasingly popular for retailers to be demanding change when it comes to product packaging. With many products trying to stand out in a saturated market, it is a struggle for retailers to delight consumers within their aisles and online. 

Shops and the aisles within them have become increasingly fragmented, and a product packaging company can help your products to fit with what both retailers and consumers want to see. 

Your Packaging Is Wasteful

There is a rising focus all across the globe for companies and individuals to operate in a more economical and environmentally friendly manner. Excessive packaging often leads to a lot of waste, and conscious customers will often choose products with less packaging and more ethical processes. Choosing to use technology such as Automate will result in less waste as you only create the packaging you really need, as and when you need it.

Products Are Not Well Protected

The last thing you or your customers want is to get your product home, only to find it has become damaged in its packaging. When you have packaging that isn’t the exact size required for your products, it can lead to them being damaged in transit. If your existing packaging is not properly protecting your products, or you have to use a lot of additional packaging to fill box space, then it will not give a positive impression of your business. 

A product packaging company will be able to help you to get boxes and packaging solutions that are designed to perfectly fit every one of your products to prevent damage.

6 Stunning Bespoke Ecommerce Packaging Designs for Inspiration

When it comes to e-commerce, companies have become more inventive in recent years about the packaging they use. It’s no longer enough to send a product in a plain cardboard box. Instead, you need to think about your brand and the message you want to send when a box from your company arrives with your customer., creating bespoke ecommerce packaging is one way to do that.

Inspirational packaging design

Once you have your branding down, you can start designing your packaging.  Here are six inspirational packaging design ideas to get you started:

  • Colour

Colour is a powerful tool when it comes to sending a message about who your company is and what it stands for.  It allows you to catch your customer’s eye when the package arrives and helps ensure it stands out from the crowd.  Right now, blended colours are especially popular as are black and white designs, which can allow you to create intricate and intriguing designs that make people look twice.

An example of the use of black and white can be seen in the Allsorts packaging, which came out a couple of years ago and allowed the sweets to stand out against all the others on the shelf.

  • Minimalism

If you do go for black and white, one of the things to remember is to keep things simple.  Black and white packaging makes a statement, and you don’t want to confuse this by making it too busy.  Minimalistic packaging works well in lots of ways. It sends a message that your company is open and honest, for example, and that you don’t focus on style over substance, something more and more customers want to see right now.

With minimalism, because there isn’t anything to distract the eye, you need to think about the colour(s) you use, and the typography but function is important too.  There is no point in keeping the packaging design simple if the packaging itself isn’t fit for purpose. Beauty brands are experts at minimalist design and worth looking at for inspiration.

  • Typeface

Beauty products are good at typeface too.  They tend to keep it simple (space is often a premium) but use creative placement to add a twist to the design.  An example is Thomas Kosmala, who wrapped the typeface around their packaging rather than have it placed on just one side.  It’s an approach that can be used on any type of box, regardless of whether it is packing the product itself or being used for shipping.

  • Images

Images can also be used on product packaging or packaging used for shipping.  They can be as simple as your company logo or more involved. If you have the budget, speak to an illustrator to come up with something unique for your company.  Vintage imagery is particularly popular right now, and it’s definitely worth seeing if this will fit with your brand. Remember, it doesn’t have to be too literal, but it does need to be eye-catching.

  • Themes

Whether your use images or not, it’s essential to try and stick to a theme with your packaging. This links back to your brand and the need for consistency.  Use the same colour, or range of colours, in your packaging and the same typography.

If you do use images, remember, you don’t need them all to be the same, but they do need to have something in common in order to tie your look together.

  • Inclusivity

Recently, Lego began a pilot for braille bricks. A similar approach can work in packaging and designers have been working on this.  You could, for example, include braille text on your boxes or consider using fonts that are better for those with dyslexia to read.  

  • Quality and consistency

Once you decide on your design, you need to make sure it runs through all of your packaging from boxes to bags. The quality of your packaging matters too. This doesn’t mean you need to blow the bank, but it does mean buying the best packaging you can within your budget.

To make sure you get the best quality, look at ways you could save money on packaging. With Right Size, for example, you get good quality cardboard boxes at an affordable price because you only produce the boxes you need when you need them. You can also print directly to these boxes, meaning you can add a design without the added costs that other companies might charge.

Reduce Packaging With These Simple Fixes

If you operate an e-commerce business, packaging is something you can’t avoid but reducing packaging is becoming even more important .  Whether you’re sending your products onto suppliers or onto consumers, it has to be packaged in a way that keeps the goods inside safe and secure until they reach their final destination.   So can reducing packaging work?

The risk here is that, in an effort to make sure your product doesn’t get damaged in transit, you use too much packaging which can end up costing you money that you would much rather see going to your bottom line.

In manufacturing, Forbes magazine identified packaging as one of the three best ways to cut costs, and the same applies if your business is online.  How, though, do you reduce the amount of packaging you use? Here we look at some six simple fixes for reducing the packaging your business uses.

  • Review your packaging

Before you start to reduce your packaging, you need to know just how much you use.  Look back over the past three or six months and work out how much packaging you used – and how much you spent on it.  

Then, look at how much packaging you keep in reserve and whether any of it has been sitting there for more than a month; if it has, it probably means you don’t need it. Don’t forget to look at additional packaging material such as bubble wrap too.  

  • Decide on the packaging you need

Take a look at the goods you sell and decide what type of packaging is best when it comes to shipping. If you sell clothes, for example, mailing bags may be better than boxes and probably won’t need much, if any, additional packaging materials to keep them damage free.  

You might need to use additional packaging materials for fragile items, which will also most likely need to be shipped in cardboard boxes.  As well as the material, consider the size. If you ship smaller items, you won’t need big boxes; if you ship items in bulk, you will.

Finally, think about how you store goods in your warehouse. Do you use cardboard boxes for these that are then discarded? Can they be replaced with reusable plastic crates?  These not only reduce the packaging you use (internally) but reduce your costs (though there may be an additional initial outlay).

  • Only buy what you need

Once you know what packaging you need, work out how much stock you think you’ll be shipping and buy just enough to cover these sales. This way, you won’t be left having paid for packaging you don’t need, and you won’t be tempted to over-pack an item.  

Better yet, consider investing in a system such as Right Size that lets you customise your packaging to perfectly fit the items you’re shipping and create exactly the number of boxes you need at any given time.

  • Cut back on additional packaging

One of the best things about systems such as Ribble Right Size is that they allow you to cut down on additional packaging.  The same applies if you buy boxes that are as close in size to the products you want to ship. This is harder if you buy in bulk because you can end up with too many boxes that aren’t a good fit, meaning you’re much more likely to use boxes that are too big and fill up any empty space with bubble wrap or packaging peanuts.

  • Change your mindset

Using the right sized-packaging and reducing the amount of additional packaging material aren’t difficult changes to make but they could well mean you need to change the way you work.  The same applies to your employees too. So, while it might be quicker and easier to reach for the first available box when preparing an item for shipping, instead, you’ll need to look for the box that best fits the product.  

  • Reuse and recycle

Think about how you can reuse packaging too.  Can used packaging paper be shredded and used as packaging material, for example, or can boxes used by customers to return items be reused when you send out your next order?

By taking these simple steps, you’ll be able to not only reduce the amount of packaging you use but cut your operational costs (including warehouse space and transportation).  You’ll also be reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and your carbon footprint, both of which are good for not only the planet but your reputation.

Boxes Are Affecting Your Transportation Cost in Logistics

When it comes to logistics, online companies generally spend more on the transport of goods than anything else; some industry experts estimate transportation costs in logistics can run as high as 50%.

This is especially true of ecommerce sites whose business model relies on being able to get their products to their customers as quickly as possible and who don’t have the benefit of bricks and mortar stores where people can ‘click and collect’ their purchases.

How packaging can reduce transportation costs in logistics

Packaging is incredibly important when it comes to shipping goods.  It needs to be strong, sturdy and able to protect what’s inside, making sure it reaches its destination in the same condition as it left your warehouse (and keeping your customer happy).  

Typically, this has meant online stores using standard-sized boxes and protecting the contents with additional packaging material such as bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts.  While this may go a long way to reducing the risk of goods being damaged in transit, it also goes a long way to increasing your transportation costs in logistics because you are basically paying to ship air.  

Every cubic inch of your packaging that doesn’t contain your product and contains packaging materials instead – or nothing at all – is costing you money.  You can save this money by reducing the size of the boxes you use for your packaging.

If you ship large quantities of goods and have your own delivery trucks, reducing the size of your packaging means you can get more boxes into each vehicle.  The more boxes you can get into a truck, the fewer journeys you need to make, and the less you end up spending on fuel.

If you use a courier service or Royal Mail to ship your goods, you will generally be charged by either size or weight.  Reducing the size of the packaging will, therefore, automatically save you money.

As reducing the size of your packaging also means a reduction in additional packaging material you’ll also save money if you are charged by weight; your packages will weigh less because they are not only smaller but contain less unnecessary packaging material.

How to protect your goods when you reduce your packaging

Many companies don’t use less packaging, even though they know if they can reduce their transportation costs in logistics because they are afraid their goods will end up getting damaged in transit. It isn’t necessarily the case, however, that this will happen.  In fact, if you use the right type of packaging, you could end up with a higher level of protection that you had when using traditional boxes.

A lot of traditional packaging boxes, for example, are what is known as a single wall, which isn’t that strong in reality.  Others use corrugated cardboard which is stronger but can still buckle or tear in transit if not handled correctly, which is why additional packaging materials are used.   For packaging to help reduce your transportation costs in logistics, you need to look at it in a different way.

Think, instead, of using bespoke packaging.  Look for companies who are able to make boxes that fit the items you are selling, including those that offer box on demand systems. These not only produce boxes that perfectly fit the goods you want to ship but do so only when you need them. This means you aren’t paying for packaging you don’t need or having to worry about where you need to store it.    

Other ways packaging can save you money

As well as saving you money on transportation costs in logistics, getting the size of your packaging right can also save you money when it comes to warehousing.  The less packaging you use, the more goods you can store in less space; as most warehouse costs are calculated in square footage, the less you use, the less it will cost.   

There are staffing efficiencies too – smaller boxes are easier to handle and often quicker to move by your warehouse teams.

Using systems such as box on demand can also save you money because they automate the process of producing boxes as and when needed.  Firstly, you don’t need to find space in your warehouse to store them, which will save you money as we’ve already seen.

In addition, you save time – and more money – because a machine puts them together rather than a person who can probably be better utilised somewhere else in your business.

Why You Need Custom Packaging for Your ecommerce Business

Over 75% of people in the UK bought goods or services online last year. This is a staggering figure considering the internet has only just turned twenty, but one that goes a long way to explaining how – in just two decades – we’ve become the world’s third largest ecommerce sector.

This means, however, that if you own an ecommerce business, you are working in a very crowded and increasingly competitive market, one that is constantly changing and requires you to change with it if you want to succeed.

So, whereas once upon a time, your customers were probably more than happy to receive their purchases in a plain brown box and surrounded by brown packaging paper, now they want something more.  Something, many of your competitors are probably already offering – custom packaging that turns ordering online from a simple transaction into an experience.

Packaging goes a long way to telling a customer who your company is and what you stand for.  It can show them you care about them, value their business and want them to buy from you again.   Or, it can show them you aren’t that bothered, that they are nothing more than a sale in a long line of sales and you wouldn’t miss them if they go.  Which is why custom packaging is so important and, if you don’t use it already, why you need to make it part of your plans for 2020.

How to make custom packaging work for your eCommerce business

If you want to make custom packaging work for your online business, you need to think about:

  1. Branding: While a plain brown box works just as well as one with a logo from a practical standpoint, it doesn’t help you get your name out there or stand out in a crowd.  Branding your boxes mean that not only does your customer know about you, everyone who comes into contact with your box sees your name and may well remember next time they go online.
  2. Messaging: Every company has a USP, something that sets them apart from their competitors.  The trick is getting this message across. With custom packaging, you can do this. Food companies, for example, might want people to know their food is always fresh, even if it’s being shipped, or that it’s locally sourced.
  3. Image: In competitive markets, the more you can do to stand out in the crowd, the better, especially if you are starting out or aren’t the biggest player in the field.  Your custom packaging can help you do just that. It presents a professional image, one that says you are serious about what you do and won’t let your customers down.
  4. Sustainability: Today’s consumer wants to buy from companies committed to reducing their environmental footprint.  Creating custom packaging from recycled/recyclable materials and limiting (or eliminating) the use of plastics tells them what happens to the planet matters to you as much as it does to them and is likely to lead to repeat business.   
  5. Sharing: Social media has become increasingly important to ecommerce businesses over the last few years, with people sharing what they like (and don’t) about products online.  If the people sharing have large enough followings, it can create a real boost for your business. And they are more likely to share if what arrives on their doorstep has custom packaging – though you need to make sure that packaging looks good on camera!

Protecting what’s on the inside

At the end of the day, what you put in your packaging will always matter more to the customer than the packaging, we know that.  Which is why it’s important to get your packaging right because customisation isn’t just about what’s on the outside, it’s about what’s on the inside, and that needs to arrive with your customer in perfect condition.  

Think about what you’re shipping and how your packaging can be used to protect its contents.  This will probably mean moving away from traditional packaging – standard sized boxes with lots of excess packaging materials to something that fits your products perfectly, keeping them safe until they reach their destination.  

If you aren’t sure how this might work, talk to packaging companies such as Ribble, who can talk you through the process and your options, or explore packaging solutions such as Right Size, which allow you to produce perfectly sized packaging for everything you need to ship.

5 Reasons Why You Need Right Size Furniture Packaging

Any business that stores and transport goods knows getting the right size packaging is essential if they want to operate efficiently and effectively. After all, it keeps productivity levels high and running costs low.  This is especially true for furniture manufacturers and suppliers, who have the added complexity of storing and transporting a product that can be large, heavy and bulky.

Traditionally, manufacturers and suppliers have packed their furniture in plastic wrapping or boxes that are too big for what they have inside, filling the space around it with additional packing material such as bubble wrap.  Today, technology is allowing them to change the way they work, creating packaging through systems such as Box on Demand, that fits the packaging around the furniture itself.

On the surface, this change may seem small. However, if you’re a furniture manufacturer or supplier, there are significant benefits to be had by getting the right size furniture packaging.

 

  • Warehouse

 

No matter how lean a business runs, there’ll always be a product that needs storing.  The more efficiently you store your furniture, the less space you’ll need and the less money you’ll spend on warehousing.  When you use furniture packaging that isn’t the right size, it takes up more space than it needs to in your warehouse, costing you money.

Saving warehouse space will become increasingly important in coming years as the UK experiences a shortfall in available storage space, making the cost of warehousing per square foot increase. When you use furniture packaging designed to fit precisely to the size of your products, you save space, not only because the packaging itself is smaller but because you can store upwards as well as across a warehouse floor.

 

  • Health and Safety

 

While it’s impossible to avoid all work-based accidents, you can significantly reduce the risk by using furniture packaging that fits the furniture itself.  Doing so makes it easier to move using forklift trucks, for example, reducing the amount of heavy lifting your staff have to do and the chances of them hurting themselves in the process (almost 25% of all workplace injuries are due to handling, lifting or carrying).

It also makes stacking products easier, increasing their stability and reducing the likelihood of their falling off shelves or workers tripping over them because they couldn’t be stacked and have been left at ground level.

 

  • Transportation Costs

 

According to research published in 2018, over 30% of businesses worldwide say that they’re using packaging that’s at least 40% too big for the products inside, leading to an extra £35 billion in transportation costs a year.

The 40% extra, or empty, space is caused because businesses rely on standardised packaging which is designed to a certain size, rather than the size of the product it is shipping.

By changing this around, so your furniture packaging is designed to fit your product, you can significantly reduce – if not eliminate – the empty space. This, in turn, lowers transportation costs because you can get more product into each delivery vehicle, meaning fewer trips are needed to deliver your product.

 

  • Furniture Damage

 

In 2017, 40% of consumers reported that the goods they’d received were damaged in some way according to a report by retail association IMRG.

While figures aren’t available for the number of businesses that receive damaged goods from a supplier, it’s fair to assume that, as most damage happens during the shipping process, the figures are relatively similar.  Damaged goods can’t be sold, or need to be sold at a discount, meaning they are likely to be returned to you, leaving you to cover the costs or sell them on at a reduced price.

Using furniture packaging that is the right size reduces the likelihood of goods getting damaged because they are less likely to shift in transport as they are more securely packed within the delivery vehicle and there is less empty space for them to move around in.

 

  • Operational Efficiencies

 

For any business, saving time and money are key to a successful business.  Using the right size furniture packaging helps you do both by reducing:

  1. Warehousing costs
  2. Transportation costs
  3. Sick days due to work-related accidents.

By investing in technology such as Box on Demand, it enables you to create the exact amount of packing you need, when you need it, meaning nothing is spent on unnecessary supplies, and nothing goes to waste, which is good for the environment and your business.

How Is Smart Packaging Changing The Packaging Industry?

In the packaging industry, smart packaging is the hot new trend.

Comprising of both active packaging and intelligent packaging, smart packaging is more than a passing fad. With the adoption of smart packaging across all industries, it may just change the packaging industry entirely.

At the moment, the smart packaging industry takes less than 10% of the packaging industry.

The industry is expected to reach $40 billion by 2020.

However, the overall packaging market is valued between $400 and $500 billion. That said, smart packaging is one of the fastest growing sectors in the packaging industry.

It may be fruitful for companies to adopt smart packaging sooner in order to get ahead of the curve.

With this in mind, is it time your business started incorporating new packaging methods into your organisation?

What Is Smart Packaging?

Smart packaging describes packaging that enhances its own functionality. It may use a range of specialist materials or technology in order to either improve the packaging, doing more for its contents or communicate a message.

An example of smart packaging would be in the food industry where packaging can sense the temperature, time and ripeness of products and the environment to help retain the microbiological quality of the contents. This can help to reduce wastage and ensure the safety of the contents.

Packaging can then even add the barriers, absorbers and necessary controllers to extend the life of products and protect its contents as best as it can.

Another aspect of smart packaging is intelligent packaging which works to sense changes in the environment which could be a risk to the contents. For example, the intelligent packaging could have anti-counterfeit measures, monitor microorganism growth within the packaging.

Intelligent packaging can also display marketing and branding messages as well and control and manage the supply chain.

What Does Smart Packaging Consist Of?

There are four key elements of smart packaging, which include;

Protection – Materials, technology and methods of extending the protection methods of the packaging. For example, this could be thermal layering to keep contents cooler for longer.

Communication – The packaging’s ability to communicate a message. This could be a marketing or branding message or a warning that contents is above its required temperature or passed its expiry date.

Containment – Minimising waste while adequately containing the contents so that the contents are fit for purpose when removed from the packaging.

Convenience – Packaging must consider both the ease of the production line and convenience of the customer. It should be easy for customers to get rid of the packaging (such as through recycling) but also be easy to create to reduce cost and time on the packaging line.

What Are The Benefits Of Smart Packaging?

 

  • Increase the shelf life

 

In the food industry and the medical industry, it is essential to reduce spoilage and wastage. Smart packaging can help to extend the shelf life of products. In fact, even if there was just an increase of one day for the shelf life, the cost savings could be significant for many companies.

 

  • Branding

 

For brands that suffer from counterfeiting, it can help to verify the goods and the brand and prevent items from losing value due to the black market. There can be measures in place to ensure the authenticity of the product.

 

  • Safety

 

For companies transporting hazardous goods, then it is essential to have adequate packaging to protect the contents. Packaging can increase the safety measures in the logistic process. As accidents and poor packaging can ruin the reputation of a business, safety through packaging becomes essential.

 

  • Cost saving

 

Smart packaging can offer a number of savings, from extending shelf life, as mentioned above, to creating reusable packaging that can be reused and repurposed to reduce the cost of packaging production.

At the moment, some brands may struggle to realise the cost savings straightaway.

This is because smart packaging is still new and requires substantial investment to develop the products. However, for many companies, it is well worth conducting a cost-benefit analysis to see if the investment into smart packaging can save money or be good for business by meeting customer demands.

What about sustainability?

The main barrier to the use of smart packaging is the fact that demand requires packaging to be as sustainable as possible.

5 Packaging Solutions For Your Products In 2019

Packaging products effectively has never been as important as it is today, with stores packed full of a vast range of products from every industry there is more competition than ever to stand out from the rest.

In order to be visible to your customers, as well as offering sustainable and responsible packaging, you need to think very carefully about your packaging solutions and how they are working for you. Your packaging solutions are often the first point of contact potential customers have with your brand and products. Therefore, it is vital to be creative and individual in order for them to choose you over your competitors.

Most customers will look for originality when it comes to packaging solutions and will be drawn to products that are different from the rest. In recent years, customers and brands alike have been focusing more on the materials used in packaging, and the process used to produce them. This is down to calls for packaging solutions to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Customers don’t want to choose products that use excessive and unnecessary packaging solutions. Not only is this bad for the environment, but it is also an extra hassle for disposing of packaging once they get the products home. Businesses should constantly be reviewing and updating their packaging solutions to keep up with trends and stay on top of the game. These are our top five packaging solutions for your products in 2019:

Top Five Packaging Solutions For 2019

  • Mailing Boxes and Postal Sleeves

Online shopping is more popular now than ever, with more and more customers choosing to shop for all types of products on the internet as opposed to in a physical store. This means there is an increase in demand for packaging solutions that can easily be shipped and posted to customers’ homes.

If your business operates online, the chances are you need to ship products directly to customers.

Mailing boxes and postal sleeves are great packaging solutions for this, as they can be designed to safely transport products while also being compact enough to fit through letterboxes. Most postal sleeves and mailing boxes will come with a foam lining to protect products during shipping to minimise damage and avoid costly returns.

  • Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated board can be used to produce cost-efficient packaging solutions for all types of products. With a growing demand for companies to become more environmentally friendly, corrugated boxes are an excellent option for reducing your carbon footprint and minimising plastic use. The corrugated board has the ability to prevent moisture and protect products with additional cushioning. They are available in any size, shape and thickness, making them perfect for packaging solutions.

  • Paper Tape

As the world is focused on reducing the amount of waste plastic around, switching to paper tape from plastic tape can make a big difference to your packaging solutions. Paper tape has excellent bonding properties, meaning you only need to use one single layer to get a secure seal.

Unlike plastic packaging solutions, paper tape is made from sustainable and degradable materials that are also recyclable. Combining paper tape with corrugated boxes will give you fully recyclable packaging solutions, where there is no need to remove the tape before recycling.

  • Automated Packaging Solutions

Automated packaging solutions are a great way to create packaging for all different shapes and sizes depending on your individual requirements. Introducing automated packaging solutions offers an easy and straightforward production line for manufacturing.

Any business that has a warehouse for their stock can benefit from automated packaging solutions, particularly if they are running a 24-hour operation. Nearly any time where a product line can be assembled into a uniform size and shape, then automated packaging solutions make sense.

  • On Demand Packaging Solutions

For really versatile and innovative product packaging solutions in 2019, you should consider on-demand packaging. On-demand packaging solutions can package according to the size and shape of a specific product, so whatever product you place on the machine, it will wrap the item depending on its dimensions and weight.

On-demand packaging solutions are hugely beneficial as they save on time and labour costs, as well as saving space in shipping and transit. For warehouses this is a great packaging option as items can be packed when and where you want, saving on storage space and making logistics much easier.

Having packaging solutions that can work in real time can bring some huge benefits to any company, and on-demand packaging is expected to be the future of packaging.

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